Is Your Child “On Track”?
Have you ever wondered about your child’s development? Do you know if your child is “on track” to meeting their developmental milestones?
- Some parents are satisfied if all their children seem to develop in similar ways. But what if they don’t? What if you only have one child?
- Some people rely on the opinions of others to reassure themselves about a child’s development. For example, “Uncle Joe was the same way growing up. Your son is fine!”
- Still other parents observe their child’s playmates or listen to other parents who might say, “My Maebel has been doing that for months now! Your Julie isn’t?”
All three of these methods can cause problems. They may result in unnecessary anxiety and worry in parents, or worse, small concerns, easily dealt with, may be dismissed until they grow into big, difficult problems.
The best way to monitor your child’s development is to use a standardized checklist, such as
www.lookseechecklist.com/. Sign-up to receive these age-based checklists regularly. There are 13 different checklists available between the ages of 1 month and 6 years.
Here are some common questions about child development:
What do I do if the checklist says my child should be able to do something and they can’t?
Sometimes parents don’t realize that their child should be working on a skill at a certain age, such as stacking three blocks by 18 months of age or kicking a ball forward at 30 months. Don’t panic! Try to give your child opportunities to practise for about two weeks and then repeat the checklist. If they are still having difficulty, speak to your healthcare provider or call a Public Health Nurse at 519-663-5317.
What if the checklist says everything is fine, but I know something is not quite right?
Don’t wait and see! The checklist is not a diagnostic tool and it only looks at some basic skills in the areas of Emotional, Fine & Gross Motor, Social, Self-Help, Communication and Learning & Thinking. You know your child best. If you have a concern, speak to your healthcare provider or a Public Health Nurse 519 663-5317.
I am not sure how to play with and stimulate my baby/child’s development. How do I learn this?
Each Looksee Checklist provides many ideas for playing with children. They are also available in French, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Arabic, Russian and Farsi. https://familyinfo.ca/ has information about in-person and virtual playgroups where families can learn and interact together.
For more resources to support your child’s development see: https://www.healthunit.com/early-child-development.
Heather Bywaters RN PHN
Middlesex-London Health Unit
For the Middlesex-London Community Early Years Partnership
Heather Bywaters RN PHN